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article imageTennessee bill proposes ban on sharing Netflix passwords

By Owen Weldon     Jun 3, 2011 in Business
Lawmakers in Tennessee have just passed a measure that says people cannot use a friend’s login on services such as Netflix or Rhapsody.
The groundbreaking measure will make it a crime if a person allows their friends use their login to listen to songs on Rhapsody or watch movies on Netflix, and other websites such as Netflix and Rhapsody.
According to Newschannel5, the bill just needs the governor’s signature. Recording officials pushed this bill because they say they want to stop the loss of billions of dollars due to illegal music sharing. Record companies are hoping other states will soon follow suit.
If a person is convicted and has watched or listened to $500 or less of entertainment, he or she could spend up to one year in jail and a receive a fine of $2,500. A person would only be dealing with a misdemeanor, but chronic abusers would suffer harsher fates and they would be dealing with a felony, according to LA Times.
Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), says this law does not make somebody a criminal if they let their spouse or family view a movie or listen to music under their own roof. McCormick goes on and says it is illegal when a person sends out their user name and password to all of their friends, allowing them to get free subscriptions.
However, Jared Newman of PC World says this law is not necessary and believes it is going to be very difficult to enforce. Newman went onto say subscription services are meant to be accessed from many different places, such as different computers, tablets and smartphones. Newman says normal usage allows users to access service on many different devices.
The bill does say that if a person is directly or indirectly harmed by the bill’s violations, then they can simply report it to law enforcement, according to Pcmag.
Netflix, back in April, said that they were considering a plan that would allow their subscribers to watch instantly streams on the same account. This plan would be somewhat similar to how Netflix DVD customers can choose to have more than one DVD out at a time. A person would be able to add more than one person to their account, which means that one person can stream while on a laptop, and another person could stream on a tablet.
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